Cyril Abiteboul was pleased that his Renault Sport Formula One Team secured a sixth place finish with Nico Hulkenberg during Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, but tyre management, particularly with the soft compound of Pirelli tyre, was not as strong as it could have been.
Unfortunately for the managing director of the Enstone-based team, Carlos Sainz Jr. could not add to his points tally at the Bahrain International Circuit, with the Spaniard losing time off the line before being forced to manage his fuel in the closing stages, missing out on the points by just over six seconds.
Abiteboul believes Renault should be aiming to qualify higher up the grid in future races, feeling the R.S.18 has the pace to be at least the fourth best car on the grid, but there needs to be some work done to understand just why both cars struggled with tyre management in Bahrain, particularly with the Soft compound.
“It was an action-packed race that nevertheless saw us score a fine result with Nico who put in a great drive on a track that is difficult for us,” said Abiteboul.
“Carlos’ poor start penalised his race, which proved, once again, that every detail counts. Carlos finished just outside the points, which is disappointing, but he did the best he could with fuel management that became very complicated in his race to move back up the order.
“We had good pace in qualifying and the performance level of the car should see us qualify higher on the grid and thus have easier races.
“Sixth place for Nico keeps us in a good place in the Constructors’ Championship with a points total in-line with our objectives, but the race pace wasn’t very good in particular with the Soft tyres, which needs to be analysed, understood and improved as soon as possible.”